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November 3, 1997

First-year student's book wins ABA recognition

Noah Buchanan

By Barbara McKenna

Noah Buchanan spent his first days on campus last January doing the usual things--settling into his dorm, registering for classes, buying books. But Buchanan, now in his third quarter at UCSC, was also busy with a quite unusual event--the publication of his first book.

The book, Places of Power, was illustrated by Buchanan and written by Michael Demunn. It made the American Bookseller Association's Pick of the List this past July--two months before it went on sale in bookstores.

Buchanan was commissioned to illustrate the book during the summer of 1996. He had just completed two years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was in the process of applying to UCSC when he heard the news. In the five months between signing his contract with publisher and coming to UCSC last January, Buchanan created 14 vivid oil paintings to depict Demunn's beautifully written story. According to Buchanan, "The story is based on Seneca/Iroquois beliefs concerning the relationships between people, nature, and the creator."

Places of Power was printed by the California-based Dawn Publishing. The project editor became aware of Buchanan's talent after seeing some of his work on the walls of an office at the company--the office, coincidentally, was that of Buchanan's mother. Several artists were invited to submit illustrations for the project, but Buchanan's work was chosen in the end.

Buchanan hopes this book is just the first of many; but in the meantime he has more immediate projects to focus on, among them, getting his undergraduate and master's degrees in art.

Places of Power is on sale at local bookstores, including Bay Tree Bookstore.

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